Taraji P. Henson, Coco Gauff, and Andra Day are among Time’s 2024 Women of the Year

From Henson’s fight against pay inequality to Gauff’s activism, the 12 women named on Time’s 2024 Women of the Year have a common thread.

Taraji P Henson, Coco Gauff, Andra Day, Jacqui Patterson, Time Women of the Year 2024, theGrio.com
Taraji P. Henson attends the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' 14th Annual Governors Awards at The Ray Dolby Ballroom on January 09, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Not only is Taraji P. Henson one of Time’s Women of the Year for 2024, but her call-out of pay inequality in Hollywood exemplifies the spirit of this year’s list. 

Time magazine announced its 2024 Women of the Year on Wednesday morning and introduced the 12 women chosen by extending high praise to Henson for speaking out after enduring decades of underpayment in the entertainment industry. 

“That sense of urgency thrums through this year’s edition of Women of the Year, Time’s annual list of trailblazers who are breaking new ground and fighting for a more equitable future,” the magazine reported.

This year’s list highlights four Black women: Henson, singer Andra Day, professional tennis player Coco
Gauff, and founder and executive director of the Chisholm Legacy Project Jacqui Patterson. The list also includes director Greta Gerwig, global CEO of Chanel Leena
Nair, co-founder and leader of the Israeli movement Women Wage Peace Yael Admi, founder and director of Women of the Sun Reem Hajajreh, president and chairwoman of nonprofit Nadia’s Initiative Nadia Murad, medical scientist and professor of research on hyperemesis gravidarum Marlena Fejzo, poet Ada Limón, and economic historian and labor economist Claudia Goldin.

From Henson’s fight against pay inequality to Patterson’s environmental justice, all of the women selected have a common thread: fighting for the next generation. 

Writing about Henson, Time’s Andrew Chow said, “Lately, Henson, one of Hollywood’s most electric personalities and prolific stars, has been pulling back the curtain, sharing her frustration and heartbreak as a Black woman in the industry.”

He referenced a December interview with Gayle King, the Oscar-nominated Henson participated in while promoting “The Color Purple” musical; she broke down in tears as she described her challenge of receiving equal pay. Chow explained that Henson’s admission brought renewed attention to a 2019 study that found female stars generally earned $1.1 million less than male stars with similar experience levels. A 2023 Pew study found that nationwide, Black women earned 30% less than white men.

Meanwhile, Gauff is highlighted for her knockout career to date, her evolving activism, and officially becoming the world’s highest-paid female athlete. Speaking to Time about the honor and about turning 20 on March 13, Gauff said “it’s crazy” she won’t be a teenager anymore.

“So much of my career, people have called me the teenaged this, teenaged that.” However, Gauff knows she’s still early in her journey. “At first, I was scared to grow up,” she admits. “But now I’m embracing adulthood. There’s always going to be change needed in this world. I hope I can play a small part.”

Fresh off her Super Bowl performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and just ahead of dropping a new album and two feature films, Day caught up with Time on being honored this year. While she’s become known for her inspirational power ballads like “Rise Up,” Day said fans can expect something different from her next album, her first since the 2021 soundtrack for “​​The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” in which she paid the titular role.

“Maybe I will inspire differently on this album by just talking about my experiences,” she told the publication. “I gave myself the freedom to do that.”

Patterson, who founded the Chisholm Legacy Project in 2021 to serve marginalized communities facing systemic injustice exacerbated by environmental problems, has been working to combat environmental issues, poverty, racial discrimination, and gender inequality.

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“We want to make sure that these communities aren’t continuing to be invisibilized and forgotten,” Patterson explained

According to a release to theGrio, in celebration of this year’s list, Time will host its third annual Time Women of the Year Gala on Tuesday, March 5, in Los Angeles. In addition to a performance by Day, the invite-only event will include remarks from this year’s honorees and the presentation of a Time Earth Award. The gala will be presented by founding partner P&G, signature partner Ray-Ban Meta, supporting partners Donna Karan and Fiji Water, exclusive spirit partner Campari, and official watch partner Rolex.

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